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Preaching in Pumps | Sermons by Rev. Sarah E. Weaver

Sermons by Rev. Sarah Weaver. Unless otherwise noted, sermons are given at the Rehoboth Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Rehoboth, MA.
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Preaching in Pumps | Sermons by Rev. Sarah E. Weaver
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Sep 17, 2019

Continuing with our sermon series on The Sermon on the Mount, this weeks sermon focused on the passage where Jesus says, "You are the salt of the earth ... you are the light of the world."  I had a really great idea to do a children's sermon where we all tried salt-free popcorn and then added salt to see the difference in taste but apparently salt-free microwave popcorn is not a thing?  At least it wasn't at Stop & Shop.  The "healthy" ones all have sea salt.  I suppose I could have used a popcorn maker, but that wasn't going to happen on a Sunday morning, ha!

Anyway, this is a text that is kind of hard to preach because it's fairly straightforward.  But there were three things jumped out at me that I thought were worth reinforcing, so I just did a sermon in kind of a bullet-point format instead of just making one point (if that makes sense?).  I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from my congregation, so I hope you get something out of it, too!

Enjoy ...
- Sarah

Sep 10, 2019

Hi friends!  We kicked off the program year at RCC this weekend with a fun Rally "Weekend" - we had a Rally Night on Friday night with a cookout, games, s'mores, movie and fellowship for all ages!  Apparently this was an old tradition at RCC that hasn't happened in a few years (this was my 9th Rally Weekend at RCC and I've never experienced it, so it's been that long, at least!), so we thought we'd do it again this year and had a great time!  The Youth Group stuck around for a lock-in that night and it just kind of put us in the spirit for Rally Day on Sunday.

We did a blessing of the backpacks on Sunday during worship - we invite the kids to bring in their backpacks from home and we put tags on them and then say a blessing over them.  It was great to have such a wonderful turnout with our families (42 kids total!).

We kicked off a 12-week sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount this weekend by looking at The Beatitudes.  I started by talking about why I chose a scripture-based sermon series (as opposed to a thematic one) for this fall and then talked broadly about the Sermon on the Mount before focusing on the Beatitudes.

Enjoy!
-Sarah

Sep 3, 2019

This is it for our summer sermon series on hospitality!  This week is Rally Day and the beginning of a 12-week sermon series on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), which will bring us through Thanksgiving.

It was fun to look at hospitality this summer - I actually had a lot of great feedback from people who gave me tangible ideas and suggestions of ways that we, as a church, can improve.  I hope this is one of those sermon series that we keep talking about, long after it's over.

The question we answered in this final week was, how can we create a space where people feel welcome?

Enjoy ... 

Aug 27, 2019

Hi friends!  It has been almost a month since my last sermon.  I didn't realize I would be away from the pulpit from that long, but since I was away for two weeks and then came back to Beatles Sunday, it ended up being almost a month without a sermon.

We are still in our six-week sermon series on hospitality.  The topic of discussion this week was:  How do we serve others?

Enjoy!

Jul 31, 2019

I have been thinking about this sermon since last October when my family went to Disney and I became obsessed with name tags and then again since April and I was preaching on the resurrection narrative out of John and noticed that Mary Magdalene did not recognize Jesus until he called her by name.  It was a long time coming and the coolest part was that we had a fundraising event at Hillside Country Club the next day and everyone who showed up to help wore their name tag - without me sending out a reminder!

Enjoy ... 

- Sarah

Jul 23, 2019

Hi friends!  Since the Year of Mark is over, we are taking a few weeks to talk about hospitality before we kick off the fall with a new sermon series.  I'm not sure where we will go next - the Year of Mark was compelling because of the continual narrative, which we all really liked.  We'll see!  I'm still trying to think through some stuff.  To be continued!

We kicked off our summer sermon series on hospitality with a very hot and humid day and worship in the air conditioned Fellowship Hall!  It was definitely a wonderful alternative and a nice example of how sometimes you have to adjust your plans if circumstances change!  The topic was, why is the important anyway?  

Enjoy ...

-Sarah

Jul 16, 2019

We did it!  We finished the Year of Mark!  I am not really sure what's next - a sermon series on hospitality for the rest of the summer and then, who knows?  The Year of Mark has changed me in a lot of ways, and it certainly has changed my preaching.  It's very unlike me not to have a plan, but I think that is just where I need to be right now!  Let's see where the spirit moves ...

Enjoy!

- Sarah

Jul 10, 2019

Christ is risen!  Love wins!  Resurrection is real!

... and yet the Year of Mark is not over yet. :)

This week I preached on the shorter ending of the Gospel of Mark and I talked about how, even thought this is probably the least satisfying resurrection story, it is also a really realistic one when it comes to how we experience the Risen Christ in our lives.

Enjoy!
- Sarah

Jul 1, 2019

I preached this sermon on the heels of a really hard funeral for a lot of us the day before.  I had planned to end the service with Old Rugged Cross and when I looked out in the congregation so many people had tears in their eyes.  It has been a hard year for a lot of people and I think reading through this Passion Narrative has been oddly therapeutic as it has reminded us that grace is still present, even in the hard stuff.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday everyone!

Enjoy ... 

- Sarah

Jun 25, 2019

When I decided to preach through the Gospel of Mark, I didn't really think much about what it would be like to preach through the end of it.  We usually just tell the story - I've never preached on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday.  It's been a really good challenge for me, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't considering preaching at some point next year during Holy Week.  There's a lot going on in this passage - my sermon barely scrapes the surface!  I talked about the role of the centurion and what this means for us as we see Jesus for who he is and then proclaim that message to the world.

Enjoy!

-Sarah

Jun 18, 2019

Guys.

We started the summer with a bang on Sunday.

A few highlights.

- Our Music Director totally spaced that we moved to 9AM and so worship started "fashionably late".

- My sweet little angel baby was in worship because our nursery care provider isn't contracted for the summer and he MADE HIS PRESENCE KNOWN.  When I stood up to make announcements he yelled, "MAMA GET DOWN!" and then cried when Bruce said, "shhhh".  At one point he ran up to the pulpit, found a leftover confetti canon from Easter and set it off.  Bruce took him out and then his friend, Bridget, who was sitting behind him with his mom started crying, "I want Harrison!"  #PKlifebelike

- I found a typo in the baptismal liturgy, which was totally my fault and ugggggh.  I hate that.

- A cat ran into the sanctuary at the end of my sermon and made it halfway down the aisle before one of the Deacons caught up to her.

Sooooo, yeah.  I need to regroup this week.

I was preaching on the condemnation of Jesus, which I imagine rendered its own level of chaos when it was happening.  So I guess the lesson in all of this is whether we are yelling, "Crucify him!" or, "There's a cat in the sanctuary!" God is present in the midst of the mayhem.

Enjoy!

-Sarah

Jun 11, 2019

Hi Friends!

We were off the Year of Mark this week for Pentecost.  There was no denying the Holy Spirit was present on Sunday when you walked into church!  We had a big fabric installation and a cake with sparkler candles and everyone wore red.

Sunday was also Children's Day at RCC, so it was a really short sermon before the older kids did their "memorable moments" skit, where they each talked about their most memorable moment at the church this year.

Enjoy!

-Sarah

Jun 5, 2019

We are nearing the end of our Year Of Mark!  We will be taking the week off for Pentecost and Children's Day and then will pick it up again on June 16th - Father's Day.  This week was Peter's Denial.  I talked about what it means that Jesus called the Church into being and how we can use this space to hold ourselves accountable to who we are, as people of faith, and who God is calling us to be. Enjoy!

- Sarah

May 28, 2019

Hi Friends!  I hope you all had a safe and peaceful Memorial Day Weekend.  It is the tradition of the Rehoboth Congregational Church to worship outdoors on the Ephraim Hunt Ministerial Land Memorial Day Weekend.  We were a little bit nervous about the weather, but it turned out to be the most gorgeous morning for an outdoor service!

I continued with the Year Of Mark, even though I knew we would draw a smaller crowd for worship and it's a tougher space to preach in.  The text is Jesus' trial before the Council and I talked about how this story exposes our own human vulnerability as we read it.

The sound quality might not be the best on the audio - it's tough to record outside.  But hopefully not too bad!

Enjoy!

-Sarah

May 21, 2019

Hi friends!  Here is my sermon from Sunday - I was preaching on Judas' betrayal and Jesus' arrest.  It's funny, because as I was wrestling with the text this week I thought to myself, "This is why we rarely preach on this stuff!"  I feel bad, because I have a feeling my congregation is going to get a lot of me not coming to any conclusions from here until we finish the Year of Mark.  But perhaps maybe inviting them into my own process of trying to understand it is more important.

Enjoy!

-Sarah

May 14, 2019

Hi Friends!

Here is my sermon from last Sunday - Jesus praying in Gethsemane.  I have to admit that I was having a hard time not laughing every time I mentioned Peter, James and John falling asleep because all I could think of was that episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel got back together and she wrote him an 18 page letter (FRONT AND BACK) and he fell asleep while reading it and when they fought about it and Ross told Rachel he had fallen asleep and not finished the letter she said, "you fell aSLEEP?!"

Thankfully I know well enough to keep those thoughts to myself when I'm actually preaching.

Enjoy!

Sarah

May 7, 2019

Hi friends - here is my sermon from yesterday. I was preaching on the last supper - conveniently timed with the first Sunday of the month, which meant that it was also Communion Sunday. As I reflected on the last supper during my sermon, I'm seriously considering revising our communion liturgy at some point this summer. I want to simplify the language and really remind us - myself included - why it is that we gather.

Enjoy ... 

Sarah

Apr 29, 2019

Hi friends!  I can't believe May begins this week!  I am not really sure where the week went.

Even though it was the week after Easter and most of my friends were preaching Doubting Thomas, we were back in the Year of Mark this morning, actually beginning the Passion Narrative (which, yes, felt like 5 giant steps backwards considering we celebrated the resurrection last week, but also I am looking at it as a great way to get a resurrection do-over - ha!).

This sermon reflects on The Year of Mark and then talks about the stories we are telling and reinforcing in our lives.  I think sometimes we are inclined to focus on the negative, but if we look there are really amazing and grace-filled things happening in our lives!

Enjoy ...

-Sarah

Apr 23, 2019

Happy Easter!  I have so much to say about our Easter service, but for the time being, I will leave you with my Easter sermon.  It was short and sweet, but that's the way I like Easter sermons - after all, the story speaks for itself!

Enjoy ... 

Apr 18, 2019

Bonus sermon this week!  RCC hosted our area men's ecumenical Palm Sunday breakfast this year, so we had worship and communion at 7AM and then the men gathered for breakfast afterwards.  Here is that sermon!  Apparently I had a lot to say about Palm Sunday this year?

Enjoy ...

-Sarah

Apr 18, 2019

Hi Friends!  Posting this quickly before Palm Sunday is completely irrelevant.  We were, of course, in the Gospel of Mark.

Enjoy!

-Sarah

Apr 10, 2019

Here is my sermon from Sunday! I can honestly say that I don't think I have ever preached on this text. It's dark and challenging and a little but scary - but also has SO much to teach us!

Also - if anyone has any suggestions for how to brew good church coffee - email or DM me! I haven't given up yet - ha!

Enjoy ... 

Sarah

Apr 4, 2019

Okay, so my proud blogging moment of March was when I went through and updated all of my pages and then created a Year of Mark page where all of my sermons from Mark are archived!  It's crazy to look back and see how far we have gotten.

Here is my sermon from last Sunday.  It was the end of chapter 12, the end of the Gospel narrative, before the apocalypse in chapter 13 transitions us into the Passion.  I feel like everyone in the church is really into this right now!  It's going to be a little bit odd celebrating Easter and then jumping back into the Passion and the crucifixion and resurrection but also we are all really caught up in the story right now, so I think it will be fine.

Here's my sermon!  Enjoy ... 

-Sarah

Mar 25, 2019

Full disclosure - according to the timestamp on my phone, I texted Bruce at 9:22PM last night (Saturday night) and said:

Word count: 75

I haven't done this in a long time.  I have really tried to move away from the whole Saturday night sermon writing thing - it just doesn't work for me in this particular season of my life.  But for so many reasons this week, I just couldn't get it together - and yet, I was totally calm about the whole thing.  We had our annual Spaghetti Supper and Dessert Auction last night and after we cleaned up and everyone left, I sat down in my office and started to write.  And at 10:51PM I sent this text:

1657. Done!

Once I sat down, the words just flowed.  I love this scripture and I love preaching on it.  I love charging my church to be a Greatest Commandment church!

Here's the sermon.  Enjoy ... 

Sarah

Mar 20, 2019

I explained this in the sermon, but the timing of where we are in the Year of Mark is not totally lined up with the timing of where we are in the church year.  Technically we are already in Jerusalem - we skipped over the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, because we are going to read that in a few weeks on Palm Sunday.  So give yourself a minute, get yourself to Jerusalem and here's my sermon from this past week!

Enjoy ... 

-Sarah

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